The town of Haines, home to a community of 2,400 people, is located 14 miles away from Skagway by water, or 350 miles away by road. Its friendly, fishing-town feel and stunning scenery, access to backcountry, and opportunity for fishing and wildlife-spotting make it a must-visit destination.
You can reach Haines by catching a ferry from Skagway, or by driving from Whitehorse. The road route from Skagway is called "The Golden Circle," and is easily one of the most scenic driving routes in North America. Haines lies within the traditional territory of the Chilkat Tlingit people, who were the first inhabitants of the Chilkat Valley. Their main village site was called Klukwan, located 22 miles north of where Haines is today. The modern townsite was established after Francina Haines started a Presbyterian mission in 1879. During border disputes between the U.S. and Canada in the early twentieth century, the U.S. Army built a post in Haines. The buildings of Fort William H. Seward still stand, and hold residences, restaurants, accommodations, and galleries. Today, Haines offers plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining, sightseeing, rafting, wildlife spotting, heli-skiing, kayaking, and more. Visit the Haines Visitors' Information website for more information.